part 2. Salao Brazil..

I know a little place in Coimbra...
Dafydd MacLennan

If I were to bring up Portuguese music, anyone who’s lived in the country for longer than five minutes will assume that I am about to talk about hefty Portuguese men in sweeping black cloaks just oozing with saudades and bawling about how much they love Coimbra and how sad they are that they and/or their loved one has to leave: Coimbra tem mais encanto na hora de despedida.... etc. etc. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of Fado from time to time, indeed as a keen lusophile myself am a fan (sometimes). However you may be pleased to hear that Fado is far from being the only music that the traditional streets of our beloved Portugal has to offer, and I’m sure that are times when you want to listen to something a bit different and, dare I say it, alternative. Well that can indeed be found on the most traditional of Portuguese cities on of the most traditional of streets: In the heart of Coimbra’s historic centre is Salão Brazil.

If you listened to last week’s Babel show on Salão Brazil, you’re already going to know exactly what the place is about. It is the heart and soul of the non profit Jazz association Jazz ao Centro Clube or JACC. Before I go on to summarise and comment upon what was discussed in this week’s report, I though I would briefly throw some history about the place in your faces. Read on...

JACC is a non profit cultural association which was established on the 30th April 2003, as a result of a cultural event which was supported by “Coimbra National Capital of Culture 2003” called Jazz ao Centro - Encontros Internacionais de Jazz de Coimbra.
And so this festival was thus held every year, and continues to be. It also works in partnership with the Portuguese publishing house which specialises in Jazz “Clean Feed” where they release a series of disks called “JACC Series” which is a compilation of live recordings of events which are organised by the Club.
In June 2005 JACC launched the ambitious project of publishing its own Jazz magazine (Check it out! jazz.pt – revista bimestral de Jazz) which far outlived the average lifespan of this type of publication! It was even recognised by by the Ministry of Culture as a thing of Superior Cultural Interest. (Oooh)
In 2007 it launched its new project Portugal Jazz – Festival Itinerante de Jazz , which is based upon the nationwide education and promotion of Jazz music through taking it to every town in Portugal. And since this ambitious goal is in the process of being achieved along with the hard work being put in by Portuguese Jazz musicians this event has been recognised by the highest Portuguese national authority: The President! Oh and it has also been awarded the status of a thing of Superior Cultural Interest... not bad!
Of course the heart of this organisation lies deep in the Baixa of Coimbra at its main venue Salão Brazil, which is what last week’s radio show largely talks about:

Our show begins with one of Babel’s many Estonian reporters Lauri’s (or as he is known in these parts: Lourenço) [I can definitely sympathise with the need to adapt an unusual name in this country. . . just call me Daveeed!] night out in Salão Brazil where he checked out some live music and caught up with some of my colleagues in order to learn what the place is about. He began by interviewing a past intern from the Czech republic: Štěpánka, who was certainly feeling the Saudades as this was her final concert at the club after having worked there as an intern for 3 months. It becomes very clear that this place has been very special to her, for her; it is a home from home; it is the place to be. With four or five concerts a week held in such a beautiful space, in such a quintessentially Portuguese setting with a alternative twist, I certainly agree with her when she says that “places like this are special”.
Indeed when one thinks of a Jazz club nowadays, the image of a smokey room full of hipsters springs to mind. Thankfully, this is not the case, as Štěpánka says, in Salão Brazil, there is no stereotype, this place is frequented by everyone, the young and the old, the Portuguese and the International, the hipsters and the chronically uncool. (like me!) - This is what makes places like this special.
Another interviewee at the club says that this place is so important because it is the place for Portuguese bands who are just starting off, because whilst there are indeed great Jazz clubs in Lisbon and Porto, you have to be recognised on an international level to even dream of playing at such venues. That is why Salão Brazil is special for him, because it gives new music a fighting chance!

escutar = to listen

dançar = to dance

conhecer novas pessoas = to meet new people

sentir = to feel, observe or experience

Back in the RUC studio we interview the president of JACC José Miguel and yet another Czech, the fabulous Martina. Zé Miguel goes on to explain a bit of the organisation’s history (see above) and modestly tells us about his own record label which records the music of budding Portuguese musicians who want to put their music out there. The label’s releases also includes collaborations with musicians from other European and Lusophone countries. Indeed this label is what JACC is all about - sharing Jazz and new music with people from all over Portugal, Europe, and the world. He mentions some names such as Maria João, João Paulo Esteves da Silva and António Pinho Vargas. I dare you to check them out on Youtube!
Zé Miguel proclaims that JACC was a dream for him and in the last year with the opening of Salão Brazil he has lived that dream. He doesn’t view Salão Brazil as a place only for concerts but a place for meeting people and talking - and to dance cuts in Martina.
Martina works at University of Coimbra’s Division of international relations (I’m sure you’ve all seen her around Casa da Lusófonia smiling the day away!). She also spends her free time helping out at JACC after having met Zé Miguel at a Portuguese music festival in the Czech Republic. Her favourite music is fusion music, i.e Jazz with a bit of ethno or rock mixed in. “I guess you could call it world music” she says.
Zé Miguel says: Sometimes it’s hart to keep this dream a reality as there is little support from the state, but he doesn’t complain. JACC always welcomes people to help- its not something he can do alone. And this is definitely something I agree with. I will be volunteering at JACC from December onwards, and ever since I decided to come and help out I have been made to feel nothing but welcome. This place really is special, as they say in the show being part of JACC feels like being in a movie. Make sure you check it out whilst you’re in Coimbra, you won’t regret it.

Obrigado por lerem, BJS!


Salão Brazil - what is this machine and can I see it?

Windows and musicians gathering souls in Salão Brazil..

How to describe the unique place that touches your soul and caresses your ears from the very first moment you step inside the venue? In the middle of Coimbra´s old town there is oasis for a quality music lover. The place is called Salao Brazil and it’s rhythm envelopes you totally when you step up it’s huge stairs. In the old times the magnificent hall used to be restaurant, but now one can see people having good time with the sound of jazz music. But not only jazz, the club is opened to different styles.

The magic starts from the balcony of the place. As the listeners could go on a miracoulous journey with our star reporter Lauri Lõo, steps ticking like our years, the same goes with potential writers. Sitting there in the tranquil balcony, hearing outside the soothing fountain, while looking at the hairy, wine-faced musicians discussing about local music scene, writers come to realization that, next to those jolly discussions, clinking of wine glasses, shared souls and cigarettes, a person can change the world.

Writers look at those beautiful, soulful people and understand that the biggest knowledge of humankind is the fact that you can start with one word and change the world
While the musicians are jamming downstairs, their talent spreading out of wide windows to the streets of Coimbra, all the fado singers gathering same time in front of Santa Cruz cafe, a writer picks its first words... Somewhere there are lovers, their kisses hidden behind black Harry Potter capas, somewhere are poems lit, looking escape to the night, like silently, forever-burning incense fire.

 Those people could jam for lonely and happy souls!
When listening to the jammings, reminiscences his past time lovers, their smooth voice, drunk arguments and lipstick tattoos on mirror, one might want to write one cheesy poem:

Do you want to stay
vagabund in Cosmos
and pick stars?

If I could lend you
with my cigarette
my soul
would you thank me with obrigado
or consider
me stupid
for giving free stuff?

 Blond Czech cuties win the corridor. Greeting new musicmen and -women, who  seek  escapism from ordinary, everyday mundane life. They smile to you forever, they make your true colors become apparent, they greet our star reporter Lauri Lõo to take us on a journey.

The journey is orchestrated by the chill, foggy looking musicians, who after smoking a cigarette, loose themselves with guitars, pianos and drums and microphone. Lauri takes out the recorder, while the singers` goes bonkers and the everyday ordiness swims out of those large windows.

WE ARE ALL MAD HERE, one might scream, when jazz artist, rocka-funka-billies, hippies and soul-sinners jam and sing. Somewhere there is paradise, somewhere poems to be written, women to be loved and memories to be forgotten. Somewhere there is passion. Somewhere is JACC record label, Salao Brazil´s own baby, true Christmas child.
When it comes to JACC record label, one needs to know that it is 3 years old and has released already 20 albums. It is a platform for talented local musicians. They are independent, forever autonomous, fighting for the right cause.

So when a music man catches the album of Ogre, talented portuguese young musicians collaborating with Maria João, the virtuouso, goddess of Portuguese jazz, he/she is definitely granted an experience of a lifetime.

Maria carries the listeners on the paradisiac electronical rhythms to the seven lands and seas, silently whispering us world secrets we tend to forget.. Let´s forget ourselves into this beautiful world.. Que voz! Que voz!

The album is called Electrodomestico.. and has the work of such talented artists as João Farinha Júlio Resende Joel Silva André Nascimento.

Check one of the song from the album at:

Babel Radio show also recommends the album of Ricardo A. Freitas, portuguese bassist, who has an album IntErLuNio – L´ ennui riot. It is composed with Eduarda Lala, trombone, Johannes Krieger trompete, Raimund Engelhardt, table and percussion, Gonçalo Lopes, clarinet and soprano.

This album is mellow, soul-searching material, a guide to inner soul to find peace, happiness and love. Just forget everything, my dear, weary soul and abandon your everyday struggle with independent sounds..


The final album of the JACC record label that Babels would like to promote is Elisa Rodriguez - Heart Mouth dialogues. We do not know whether we like only her music, or we are in love with her beauty. Maybe it is both. But definitely because of her, the writer wants to come down from the balcony to hear this goddess sing. Because of her, a writer might realize again that with one word you can change the world.

While the pianist taps away our everyday struggle, forgotten dreams and evil souls, small, cute, fragile looking woman gathers her power. There is nothing left anymore, no houses, people, dreams and positivity. One can feel lack of love, drop-dead solutions and look solitude from long, lonely walks. Somewhere mirrors the long face of dead soul, who strolls past Jardim de Manga.

Check Elisa singing:

And when the final cords of this goddess are gone, the world becomes still, silent, forever-lonely. There are nothing left than words, there is a lonely writer and quest to write himself happy.. He lids a cigarette and starts:

My blood is full of words
it drops straight from God´s winebottles
with utter soul

We all have dreams and Babel Radio Show knows that Salªo Brazil has them as well. We do not know excatly what their dream is – maybe to be great! But we know that el Maestro, Ze Miguel, the visionary of this place do dreams and believes in them. 

             We guess Ze Miguel dreams and makes music at the same time - multitasking, that is!

 We are more than sure that the portuguese ( and international) greatness will be in this place, on the records and in lovely jazz magazine. Great words for the love of jazz.

Check the magazine at:

And Babel Radio Show has a dream to sing there as well! Let´s pray to the gods and lands of possibillities to make it happen!

Our gratitude goes to Salao Brazil, Ze Miguel, Martina Pospisilova, Stepanka for her machines, Lauri for his amazing reportage, Ze Paus, Zoe Malmendier for the pictures, Tcheka for amazing live, Antonio for introducing the musicians!

A writer finishes writing..
the world become still..
Elisa whispers..

Listen to the show at:


let us know what performers you would like to see there on our Facebook!



This blog post is about Portuguese music. However we are not going to talk about Fado or not even about bands from Coimbra. ( That does not mean you should not check them out, try looking for Sensible Soccers and Bunnyranch for example.)

This blog post is about Portuguese hiphop! Yes, we know, hiphop must be the same in every country. The same macho attitude and same topics from sex, fame and money, swag and biiitc.... girls, that is. But Portugese hiphop is different, since rappers can not rap about money! Portugal has one of the most severe economical crisis in Europe! Fame? It depends! Definitely Orelha Negra with Sam the Kid, Regula can rap about that, since their song Solteiro hit over one milion views on youtube.


When one checks this video, he or she has to agree portuguese can not rap about biiit..., 'cause they have such a beautiful women. Astonishing, breath-taking, inspiring, stylish queens. The extranzeiro who is writing this post is sure that portuguese women are the most beautiful women in the world. Why?

Because... they have sense of music and wide interest in it. Maybe the yes lies in the way they dress and how they behave themselves so modestly. Maybe the reason lies in their melancholic eyes or how they carry themselves, or how they treat their family and friends. One becomes jealous towards the reciepents of those hugs... Maybe it is the way they gallantly roll their tobacco. Maybe it is the way their hair smell in the early spring, or the wide array of perfumes and creams that make their skin so vividly addictive.. Maybe it is their sexy portugues accent or their politically and culturally conscious conversations..

Damn! What the fuck is wrong with this writer? Let's get back to money, hoes, fame and gangsta shit. This blog post is about HIPHOP – portuguese hiphop, that is: not some cheesy stuff, where one idiot tries to be romantic.
Before moving to the introduction of portuguese hiphop´s history, Babels would like to teach few words for potential rappers.. Consider it aulas portuguesas.

To rhyme – rimar

( this is the activity that gets rappers money, fame and bii.. It does not need musical skill, since sometimes some cheesy rnb singer can save the day)

battle - batalha
( this is the activity, what all the angry rappers who have not had sex, fame or money do to express their anger and show their talent. The goal is to win the battle with rhymes, beat the opponent with punchlines. Usually they tend to address opponents mothers, fathers and lame rapping skills. )

Chorus – refrºao

This is the part of the song, what rappers usually do not master. Since rappers are not so sexy and beautiful, it is the place to put nice looking lads to sing. ( so it looks better on videos, as well) While all the cheesy Chris Browns and Rnb singers are singing about their forever lost lovers, heartaches and sexy girls, rappers have to squeeze their balls, to make their voices more high.

Now moving on to our guests. We had in our show Moises Regalado,  who is currently studying History at the University of Coimbra. When it comes to Moises, he has done  hiphop show Suburbano in RUC. On his free-time, he can listen, rap, freestyle or write raps for 24/7. This is not exaggeration, since this post´s author lives in the same house and listens 24/7 boombap sounds coming from Moises's room. For some reason, there is always coming some herby smell from the room, where this great senhor is living. Babel Radio show is more than sure that MC HAKA – that is Moises´s artist name - is boiling tea there, just to calm down from the long working hours of a rapper.

MC Haka is a Mc from Aveiro. Mc Haka is not a battle rapper, since he is not angry, since he has swag, ladies and groupies. MC Haka is part of AVC crew, readers can freely check their stuff and even download it at:

We played his song Mandarim in our show, but we also recommend song:

Carlos Braz is a programme coordinator of RUC´s hiphop show  Suburbano. Also he is a PR of RUC. For a stranger, especially Estonian one, Carlos might look like Afroman – since he is wearing afro and can sing. But since he is against weed smoking and does not have an ugly face, he could never be a Afroman! When it comes to Carlos, he is more than happy to teach Angolan dances to those interested in. However, if nobody is interested, he dances with his girlfriend or in the corridors of RUC. Suburbano goes on air ON RUC OF COURSE, every tuesday, thursday at 20. 00.

Last but not least is Daniel Abreu, very chill, cool and relaxed gentleman, who looks like Snoop Dogg, with his curly hair, sun glasses and heureka, heureka „ Snoop Dogg´s T-shirt“ This wonderful gentleman is doing Sampleecious on RUC, show about sampling on RUC every Tueday at 13.00..

Babel Radio Show wants to officially thank those people for taking part!

The show also mentioned the best producer, rapper and beat maker in portuguese hiphop. His name is Sam the Kid. When our guests mentioned the best albums of portuguese hiphop, three of his albums were mentioned.

One of them was Sobretudo, second Practica(mente) and the last one, instrumental album called Beatz vol. 1: Amor. This album is considered the best instrumental hiphop album in Portugal. The reason lies its personal approach, where Sam the Kid uses samples and recordings from his family. It tells a love story. This album is a true, meaningful journey through portuguese history and all Sam the Kid´s struggle/ problems associated with that time.

All those albums should be listened by the listeners and readers to get to know true talent of Sam The Kid. As MC Haka said in the show, „ Sam the Kid´s level is international.

This might be the reason why Sam the Kid has an collaboration with American great hiphop artist Afu-Ra.

Check the song at:


When it comes to other artists, Babel Radio Show, MC Haka, Carlos Braz and Daniel Abreu recommend Regula, Nerve, Valete, Orelha Negra and Mundo.

A brief historical background. Hiphop in Portugal, or as they say here - hiphop Tuga - started in 1980s. The main influence came from American rappers and ghetto movies from that time. The birthplaces of Tuga Hiphop were Porto and Lisboa, more specifically areas like Massama, Cacem, Vila Nova de Gaia( Here one can wonder, how much the vinho porto influenced the rappers, since it is an historical wine area), Maia and Margem Sul Do Tejo.
The first national, official movement was in 1994 by guy named José Mariño who did a radio programme „ Novo Rap Jovem“ in a radio station „ Radio Energia“.

The first rap album was a combilation album called „ Rapublica“. It had a song by Black Company – Nadal, which went national all over portuguese radios. This was the first success of Portuguese rap. This was the reason why Sam the Kid, Regula and many other modern day artist could rap their way to the top..

Babel Radio Show wishes you boa noite and recommends listening one of this classic..